(PatrioticPost.com)- The FBI took direct aim at China’s government this week, saying cyberattacks and espionage against the United States have amounted to “one of the largest transfers of wealth in human history.”
Speaking at the Hudson Institute this week, Christopher Wray, the director of the FBI, said:
“The stakes could not be higher, and the potential economic harm to American businesses and the economy as a whole almost defies calculation. To achieve its goals and surpass America, China recognizes it needs to make leaps in cutting-edge technology, but the sad fact is that instead of engaging in the hard slog of innovation, China often steals American intellectual property and then uses it to compete against the very American companies it victimizes, in effect, cheating twice.”
Wray said China’s government targets “research on everything from military equipment to wind turbines.”
Wray was unable to give an exact figure about how much China’s cyberattacks have cost the U.S. economy, but he said “every figure I’ve seen is breathtaking.”
“Confronting this threat effectively does not mean we shouldn’t do business with the Chinese, does not mean we shouldn’t host Chinese visitors, it does not mean we shouldn’t welcome Chinese students or coexist with China on the world stage,” he said. “It does mean that when China violates our criminal laws and international norms, we are not going to tolerate, much less enable.”
To that end, Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State, has recently threated to impose a ban on the extremely popular social media app TikTok as well as other apps that are developed in China. Pompeo said earlier this week that President Donald Trump and the administration would review the infrastructure of these social media apps to see if there are any other security concerns. A similar investigation was done into ZTE and Huawei, large telecommunications companies based in China.
Back in May, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the FBI issued a joint statement announced it was investigating “the targeting and compromise of U.S. organizations conducting COVID-19-related research by [People’s Republic of China]-affiliated cyber actors and non-traditional collectors.”
The statement said the hackers have been caught in the act trying to “identify and illicitly obtain valuable intellectual property” and public health data about research into the coronavirus. “The potential theft of this information jeopardizes the delivery of secure, effective and efficient treatment options.”
Concerns about China stealing American intellectual property is nothing new, and it even pre-dates Trump’s time in the White House. Back in 2009, defense company Lockheed Martin’s electronics and sensitive design data for the F-35 was compromised, and the culprits were believed to be hackers from China.
Since Trump has taken office, the U.S. and China have clashed on a number of issues, including suspected cyberattacks and the stealing of intellectual property, trade, and the source and handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
This week’s comments from Wray only advance the clashing between the two countries, and more moves could be made in the near future.